How Meat Chickens are Farmed in Australia

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) has started a campaign aimed at busting a few myths over broiler farming. In the latest move, the public is told that meat chickens are never kept in cages.
calendar icon 27 September 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

A new survey has revealed that despite chicken being a staple of the Australian diet, most of the population simply do not know that meat chickens are never kept in cages.

Dr Andreas Dubs, Executive Director of the ACMF, said: "A staggering four out of five Australians (80.6 percent) wrongly believe that in Australia most meat chickens are farmed using cages.

"Only a tiny proportion of consumers – less than three per cent – are aware that the Australian chicken meat industry never uses cages."

"Chickens farmed by the Australian chicken meat industry are never kept in cages, whether conventional, free-range or organic.
Almost all chicken meat sold in Australia is locally produced."

Interestingly, despite nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of all respondents being confident that they understand the differences between conventional, free-range and organic chicken, the survey reveals that their understanding is often incorrect.

"All meat chickens grown commercially in Australia are housed in barns where they are free to roam on the floor. In addition, both certified free-range and organic chickens have access to an outside range during the day," explained Dr Dubs.

Nearly one quarter (23.3 per cent) of all Australians believe that a significant amount or all chicken sold in Australia is imported, when in fact almost 100 per cent is locally raised and produced. (The only exceptions being some small amounts found in imported canned products, e.g. chicken soup, and some frozen cooked meat that comes from New Zealand.) This is great news for all consumers since 95 per cent of buyers of chicken meat state a clear preference for locally produced meat.

Dr Dubs added: "Consumers can be absolutely proud of the standard of our industry and confident that the chicken in the supermarket, the butcher, the delicatessen, the take-away shop, the quick service restaurant or the high end restaurant is produced to the same high standard, whether it was farmed in a conventional manner or according to free-range or organic standards."

The chicken meat industry is keen to ensure that all the facts are clearly and easily accessible to consumers. The ACMF web site [click here] provides the facts and a chook infoline is also available (1300 4 CHOOKs, i.e. 1300 424 665) to answer consumer queries.

For further details about the different farming methods from ACMF, click here.

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